Movie Review – Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (2014)
This American film, in both English and Japanese, tells the tale of Kumiko, a frustrated and depressed young adult from Tokyo, who is disgruntled with her job and her life at home. But when she stumbles upon a video of the film “Fargo” and mistakes it for a real documentary, she decides to set out for the USA, and try to uncover the buried treasure that was featured in the wintry landscape of the movie.
This film was indeed an interesting and unique storyline, taking material out of a cult classic like Fargo and using it for a new tale with international intrigue, mystery, and a sense of adventure.
Successes of this film included that originality of the concept, and the interesting direction that the story followed. The music by indie band Octopus Project also added to the feel of intense and raw emotion we saw play out in the film. Finally, the shots of the cold, barren Minnesota and North Dakota winter landscape, contrasted with the busy urban cityscapes of Tokyo provided great cinematography to the viewer.
However, weaknesses of the film were also present. Primary among these weaknesses were the confusing and scrambled plot, and the need for audiences to continually suspend logical thought and just buy into things that were highly unlikely. For example, the ability for Kumiko to successfully make it to the USA on stolen credit cards, and still not get caught by authorities, while being so naive about what she was doing. Another example was her ability to escape paying for a room in rural Minnesota, and not be charged or taken in by the police afterwards. Many times the plot just required us to suspend all logic, to the point of frustration.
Overall, although this film had some successes and was interesting from several perspectives, the film can be looked at in terms of having a lot of potential, but not quite hitting the mark.
Overall: 3 stars out of 5 stars.